Kurt Helin

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, right, greets Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) prior to an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Robert Horry says Stephen Curry better offensively than peak Kobe Bryant

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Stephen Curry has a long road ahead to walk away from the game with the resume and legacy that Kobe Bryant will leave with come April.

But is he already a bigger threat on offense than Kobe ever was?

Former NBA player, Kobe teammate, and Lakers studio guy Robert Horry said yes, while on SiriusXM NBA Radio with host Justin Termine. Here is his quote (hat tip Hoopshype):

“Kobe in his prime really wasn’t that great of a three-point shooter. He was a drive, get-to-the-hole, dunk-on-you type of guy. Steph can drive and float you. He can shoot it from half court. You have to guard him at all times.”

Peak Kobe on offense (the 2006-07 season, I would say) averaged 31.6 points and 5.4 assists per game, with a true shooting percentage of 58 percent and a usage rate of 33.6. This season Curry is averaging 29.8 points and 6.4

This season Curry is averaging 29.8 points and 6.4 assists, with a true shooting percentage of 68.2 percent and a usage rate of 32.3.

There are a lot of difficulties in comparing the apples and oranges of those seasons, but we can safely say that because of the three ball Curry is a more efficient scorer than Kobe ever was. He is certainly more dangerous that way. I agree that Curry creates more problems on offense because of how his shooting stretches the defense, plus he can drive the lane.

Kobe, at his peak, was a better defender than Curry. (Curry is better than some critics want to give him credit for, he led the NBA in steals last season, but he does it more within a team system where he is solid, he is not the lock-down wing defender Bryant was back in the day.)

I hate comparing all-time greats and saying X is better than Y, because the game evolves and situations are different. Kobe will walk away from the game this summer one of the all-time greats, no question. We’re a long way from knowing Curry’s final legacy, but it will be as probably the greatest shooter and one of the greatest offensive forces the game has known. A guy built for today’s NBA rules and style.

Maybe we could just try to enjoy both and not compare.

Snowed-out Jazz/Wizards game rescheduled for Feb. 18

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We haven’t seen a back-to-back-to-back in the NBA since the lockout season, when the league tried to cram 66 games in after Christmas.

The Washington Wizards have one now.

The Utah at Washington game originally scheduled for Jan. 23, which was snowed out because of a major storm hitting the Eastern seaboard, has been rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. Eastern at Verizon Center.

That makes the Wizards’ schedule:

Feb. 18: vs. Utah
Feb. 19: vs. Detroit
Feb. 20: at Miami

The Jazz have a back-to-back as well, facing Boston on the 19th.

Mike Conley does not crush Knicks free agent dreams, says everything on table

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When you talk about the most underrated players in the NBA, especially with the casual fan, Mike Conley is at the top of the list. The Grizzlies’ point guard has played at an All-Star level for a few seasons now but hasn’t gotten the recognition, in part because it’s Memphis and in part because the West is stacked with quality point guards.

The New York Knicks desperately need an upgrade at the point.

Which has led to the latest fantasy of seemingly every Knick fan (and talking head in the city) — the free agent Conley coming to New York this summer. When asked about it Friday before the Grizzlies and Knicks squared off, Conley didn’t kill the rumors (which in New York is like throwing gasoline on them). Here are his quotes, via Ian Begley of ESPN.

“I think everything will be on the table when that time comes,” Conley said Friday morning after the Grizzlies’ shootaround at Madison Square Garden. “I haven’t committed to anything…

“They’ve got talent, obviously,” he said. “I think [Kristaps] Porzingis surprised a lot of people. He’s going to be very, very good in this league. He already is pretty good. But he’s going to grow each year, and they already have one of the best small forward in Melo [Carmelo Anthony]. They’ve got a young team, so they’ve got a lot of room to improve.”

The smart money is on Conley staying in Memphis, the only NBA team he has ever played for. Conley was very active last summer in recruiting Marc Gasol to remain in Memphis, and has said it would be very difficult to leave him. Plus the Grizzlies can offer more money — one more guaranteed year plus larger raises.

The Knicks will need to lose some salary before July 1 just to offer Conley a max, which likely starts around $24 million (depends on the final salary cap number). What the Knicks can offer is a larger stage for his brand and the chance to bring that brand out of the shade of Gasol and Zach Randolph.

Conley — who is averaging 14.6 points and 6.1 assists per game, is shooting 35 percent from three, is good on the pick-and-roll, plus is one of the best defensive point guards in the game — will have plenty of other suitors as well. He’s one of the best players on the free agent market this summer.

Three Takeaways from NBA Thursday: Kobe Bryant continues turning back clock

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant reacts after sinking a 3-point shot late in the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The Lakers won 99-96. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Here’s what you need to know from a four-game slate Thursday night around the Association: 

1) Anthony Davis was a beast, but too much vintage Kobe Bryant got Lakers win in New Orleans. The Lakers have won two in a row behind turn-back-the-clock performances from Kobe, and nobody is happier about that than the Sixers. Well, maybe Byron Scott.

In his last three games, Bryant is averaging 29.3 points and shooting 50 percent from three. He was +16 for the game on Thursday, putting up 27 points on 24 shots in New Orleans. Kobe saved his best for last, with 12 points in the fourth quarter —including the dagger three with just less than a minute to go — to keep the Lakers afloat while the Pelicans made a late run that seemed like it could change the outcome. Anthony Davis was a beast all game and had 39 points, while once again Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson made everyone wonder why they are not starting, putting up 19 and 17 points respectively and both closing the game. The Lakers got 18 points from Jordan Clarkson, and D'Angelo Russell still got almost 30 minutes off the bench (he needs the run).

2) Raptors backcourt of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan too much for Portland. The Trail Blazers backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have been surprisingly good this season and are the reason the Trail Blazers are in the hunt for a playoff spot. But they are not as good as the Raptors’ Lowry and DeRozan, who combined for 59 points and hit 8-of-11 threes to lead Toronto to another win. The two men got whatever shot they wanted most of the night, and when Portland went on a run to get within three in the fourth it was Lowry in particular that took over and got the lead back up to double-digits. If you want some in-depth Raptors talk — including who they might go after at the trade deadline — check out the latest PBT Podcast where Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun and I break it all down.

3) Dunk of the night goes to… Ryan Anderson? Yup. He put Kobe in a poster. Ryan Anderson is as good a stretch four as you’re going to find in the league (when healthy), and what makes him special is he can do more than just stand in the corner and shoot threes. The man has skills. And, he can throw down the occasional dunk. Even if Kobe Bryant is in the way.

Damian Lillard rejects Kyle Lowry on the drive (VIDEO)

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See, Damian Lillard does play defense sometimes.

Most of the night Kyle Lowry got what he wanted, finishing with 30 points on 19 shots, leading Toronto to a win on the road in Portland. But on this one drive, Lillard tracked him down and sent Lowry’s shot flying.

DeMar DeRozan had 29 in the Raptors win.